This week in writing: classes and conferences edition

Most writers work to become better. They attend conferences, they take notes, they read, and they try to find usefulness in the criticisms (I say try because even for the best of us, that’s hard). Now, that’s MOST writers. Some have no interest in listening to good advice, they get defensive at critiques, and they are certain they have it all figured out, or they’re angry that no one “gets” them. I have met several of these writers over the years and unfortunately this week I had to deal with two more. Their behavior is baffling. So, this week’s post is for those of us who do want to improve ourselves.

Next week is the New York SCBWI conference. It’s a great conference for kid lit folks. Once again, I’m not going, but Harold Underdown will be there for the first time in years. Harold was very helpful to me on a very early version of my middle grade novel THE JUMBIES (out soon from Algonquin).

Coming soon, Jennifer De Chiara, the head of my agency is offering a 90-minute seminar on picture book writing. Even I want to take this!

In April, School of the Free Mind takes a heart-centered approach to writing children’s books. The 6 week course is offered entirely online.

Later in April, the NJSCBWI is offering a picture book brunch with editor Meredith Mundy. I may go to this as I continue to struggle with a picture book concept.

I will be speaking at the NJSCBWI conference in June. I will do two talks, on Rosen and non-fiction, and best practices in an author/agent relationship with my agent, Marie Lamba. The NJSCBWI site will have for conference info soon.

In July, Emma Dryden of Drydenbks is doing a children’s book writing residency. Those 5 days of workshops sound freaking fantastic. Also, it’s on Martha’s Vineyard! Nice.

Finally, I think I’m going to change the format of my Fairy Godauthor editing service. Between work and my own writing, I have had to turn down working on other people’s manuscripts. I’m not sure what I’ll do yet. Stay tuned.

Now for some free stuff…

This free app highlights your passive sentences, adverbs, and over-complicated vocabulary. Which is not to say you should replace them all. It’s just an app.

If you wonder if you’re holding yourself and your career back, check to see if you do these 10 limiting things.

Hung up over conflict and story problem? You don’t have to be. There is plot without conflict. And it’s pretty amazing, actually.

If you have other helpful things coming up this spring that folks should know about, feel free to add them in the comments below.

Have a great week everyone!

2 thoughts on “This week in writing: classes and conferences edition

  1. injaynesworld says:

    Any chance the talk you’re giving in June will be filmed and available online? I’d love to see it. I’m just finishing up an online memoir writing class through The and it’s been fantastic. Just the structure I needed to tackle a difficult subject matter. I love anything that helps me grow as a writer. When I turn something in, I always tell whoever is reading it, “Be brutal. I can take it.” (Of course, after working in television for 25 years, it’s hard to demoralize me.) 😉

  2. Tracey says:

    NJSCBWI doesn’t film their talks, unfortunately. Maybe I should suggest it.
    I am always looking for classes to take myself. I love really pushing myself, and it’s hard to do that writing on my own.
    Good luck in your memoir class! It’s great that you want people to be brutal. I admit, that I say that as well, but then don’t actually want them to be brutal. It’s rough! 🙂

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